It’s probably safe to say that many of us struggle to create a work/life balance. That’s why so many books, talk shows, and outlets focus on it. We have busy lives. We take care of our families, work hard, raise our children, try to volunteer, and pretty soon we have too much to do and not enough time to do it. Work/life balance starts to look like a nice title for a seminar, but little else - until you take on the role of caregiver. That is when work/life balance becomes essential for your personal health and your ability to remain a caregiver for the long-term. If you are a caregiver, it’s time to make work/life balance part of your daily existence, and we can help.
The AARP estimates that 25.5 million Americans care for someone aged 50 or older, many of whom wind up exhausted, distracted and drained. With Baby Boomers aging by the millions, and more caregivers needed than ever before, that is an unsustainable model. We have to help caregivers like you deliver meaningful support. It’s important that you have actionable steps that can really work to help balance the myriad of demands in your life.
When it comes to managing work, here are 3 tips that may help:
- Start with Human Resources. Ask about flex-time and company policies regarding caregivers. Become familiar with the Family and Medical Leave Act, which is a federal law, and know your rights. If your company is reluctant to grant you leave, it’s important that you know the law in order to make it happen.
- Talk to the occupational health department about ways to maximize your productivity at work. In many companies occupational health professionals play an important role in making sure that the workplace is conducive to optimal work and organization.
- When it comes to your workday, make sure you are organized. The better you schedule your time, the more you will get done, and the easier it will be to leave on time. For example, do you spend a lot of time sorting through emails that are not essential to read every day? Create folders in your e-mail system and have messages sorted and filed as they come in. It will save precious time.
When it comes to your personal life, creating balance can be much tougher than it is at work. Often it involves learning to say “no” to requests for your time and asking family members to chip in, pull their own weight, or pick-up after themselves. None of those requests are easy and yet they are essential to creating balance for your mental, physical and emotional health. When you become a caregiver, it changes the balance of your life. You have to move priorities and shift responsibilities to make room for it. Similarly, your immediate family is going to have to make room for it. The household dynamic is going to change and that is never easy, or comfortable. Just remember that it is not unfair for that to happen (as family members are apt to claim). In fact, it is very fair. Making room for, and helping to ease, your caregiving role is the contribution that everyone can make toward the care of a family member.
Home Care Assistance recognizes that these are difficult changes in your life. You are not alone. As you seek to restore some semblance of work/life/caregiver balance, call on us. We provide respite and daily care to give you personal time. Our caregivers are vetted, carefully screened, and highly trained. Even if your loved one has highly specialized needs and you think no one can help, we can. We offer specialized care for those suffering from the health impacts of stroke, Parkinson's disease, and cancer treatments. We understand dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and can comfort and care for those who suffer from them. Our caregivers will comfort and care for your loved one so that you can take care of your own responsibilities, and then return to caregiving. When Home Care Assistance is part of your care team, you can restore some balance to your life.